Kalamaki, Greece, 10 days before the start of 1st AEGEAN 600.
It is no secret that the top event for the 28th Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship season is the inaugural AEGEAN 600. Crew Boss Nikos Apostolakis initially drafted a lineup with a full veteran’s lineup of no less than seven Rolex Middle Sea Races on OPTIMUM 3. It would have been a great performance choice but Team OPTIMUM Principals Livas and Lazos opted to mix experience and youth and stick to the main goal of passing on the depth that the team has acquired over the years to the young and coming generation. That way, more veteran team members will be available to form strong lineups for the 58th Aegean Rally and 53rd Andros Race too, allowing Team OPTIMUM-Samos Steamship to be competitive in all major offshore events in Greece.
The Team will be led for second year by young and motivated skippers Charis Mavrogeorgis(26) and Vaggelis Nikolopoulos(30). New comers for this season and first timers on a 600-mile offshore race are Christos Stathas(16), Stavros Kouklakis-Papadopoulos(20) and Anna Agrafioti OLY(30). Theofanis Dalezios(35) and Giorgios Kouklakis-Papadopoulos(23) make up the five talented members who are eager to compete on a 600-mile non stop race for their first time and happy to do so on OPTIMUM 3. Apostolos Serraos(28), Giannis Kapos(38), Manolis Markogiannakis(50), Nikos Apostolakis(50), Kostas Makridis(52), Nikos Lazos(54), Periklis Livas(56) and Vaggelis Karas(60) complete a balanced lineup with an age average of 37. Among all crew, we count a total 36 Rolex Middle Sea Races and 169 Aegean Rallies. And most of all we will enjoy another 600-mile course on board our trusted, updated and well maintained Farr52 One Design, OPTIMUM 3.
“The key ingredient for multi day non stop races is that all on board ask and chose to join themselves, nobody convinces them to do so. The pattern of drive-trim-eat-sleep-repeat is bearable and productive only if everyone on board see it as a challenge to try to give their best self in an extra long tough team effort. This is essential for the spirit on board for fifteen crew members living on a tight space, with a demanding multirole shift schedule, on a single three layer clothing allowance, eating mostly dehydrated food and protein bars for 3-6 days. Ok, a spaghetti is on the cards too, but only when the toilet issue becomes “tough” and the weather conditions permit. When all is done and dusted, the measure of success is not the result on the scoreboard but how many will join in the next 600-mile race…”, says crew boss Nikos Apostolakis
Quantum Sails, Koronakis S.A., Stergios Papadopoulos, Pelagos S.A., Tecrep Marine, Nautilos S.A., Lalizas S.A., Meltemi Rigging, Daltec S.A, Nautical Club Kalamaki and most of all our fine sponsor Samos Steamship offered their support and expertise to maintain and prepare OPTIMUM 3 and crew for the challenge. There is still a long checklist with fine details that we work hard to eliminate that only make us feel comfortable in our pursuit to enjoy and perform in this home water international challenge presented by Hellenic Offshore Racing Club(H.O.R.C.)
Ten days to go, stay tuned!